Using the annular shear cell as a rheometer for rapidly sheared granular materials: A DEM study

  • Orlando A
  • Shen H
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Discrete element simulations are performed to examine the kinematics of granular shear flows in an annular shear cell at high shearing rates. The interstitial fluid is absent and gravity is included. To investigate the feasibility of using annular shear cells as rheometers for rapidly sheared dense granular materials, this study focuses on the coupled effect of boundary conditions and the relative particle to shear cell size. Four different particle diameters and three different boundary types are used in the same annular shear cell. These cases correspond to physical experiments reported earlier by the authors. For many cases both shearing and non-shearing regions coexist. The transition from partially to fully shearing flow is shown to depend on the particle diameter, solids concentration, and the boundary conditions. The particles form layers at high solids concentration and with larger particles, as evidenced by the reduction of the flow diffusivity. The slip velocity at the bottom boundary is absent; at the top it varies. This variation is sensitive to the type of boundaries but insensitive to bulk solids concentration. This study shows the interconnectivity of the boundary, the particle to shear cell size, and the flow condition in an annular shear cell. Prior to using these cells as rheometers, a thorough understanding of this interconnectivity needs to be developed. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Annular shear cell
  • Boundary effects
  • Diffusion
  • Inertial limit
  • Kinematics
  • Layering
  • Particle size effects

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